Louisville—Trustees of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary elected two new faculty members and received President Albert Mohler Jr.’s report summarizing historic student enrollment during the board’s April 20-21 meeting.
Elected to the faculty, effective Aug. 1, were Douglas Blount, professor of Christian philosophy and ethics, and Joseph Crider, professor of church music and worship.
Blount has taught since 2008 at Dallas Theological Seminary, with prior teaching posts at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Criswell College. He earned Doctor of Philosophy and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Baylor University.
Crider has taught since 2011 at Southern Seminary as Ernest and Mildred Hogan Professor of Church Music and Worship and executive director of the school’s Institute for Biblical Worship. He is pastor of worship at LaGrange Baptist Church in LaGrange. Crider earned a Doctor of Arts in performance from the University of Northern Colorado, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Bowling Green State University.
Mohler told trustees the seminary is experiencing historic levels of student enrollment.
“We have the strongest enrollment in the theological world,” he said, calling it a “sign of God’s blessing.”
Mohler reported the seminary had a record enrollment of 4,792 and full-time equivalents of 3,425 for the 2013-2014 academic year, the most recent data available.
Further, the Master of Divinity headcount of 1,952 far outpaces peer institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, he said.
Noting that training pastors is “the central reason the institution exists,” Mohler said the unparalleled strength of M.Div. enrollment is “deeply, deeply humbling.”
Also in 2013-2014, Southern welcomed 1,639 new students. “That’s massive,” he said.
Trustees voted to revoke its prior acceptance and decline the gift of a Wisconsin Christian university campus, as well as to decline to establish an extension campus of Boyce College, the seminary’s undergraduate school.
Mohler said he has “great disappointment” that the gift of Northland International University campus in Dunbar, Wis., had to be declined.
“We had entered with energy and hope in anticipation that we would be able to have a successful transition in terms of receiving the campus and then opening a Boyce College Northland campus this fall,” he said. “We knew from the beginning that it would be a difficult challenge, but we also saw it as a great opportunity.”
Mohler added that the seminary “is no less committed to work in partnership with the state conventions in the upper Midwest to try to do everything possible to encourage church planting, theological education and every other good work.”
The board also recognized six outgoing trustees whose terms of service end in 2015, including Frank Broadus, from Louisville. (SBTS)